Join us for a five-week series of FREE educational presentations to help you learn about and implement easy, eco-friendly ideas in your home, yard, and community. All workshops will take place at the Activity Center at Kingswood Park in Deerfield Township (located at 4188 Irwin Simpson Road, Mason, OH 45040). This series is sponsored by the Warren County Conservation Collaborative.

Reserve Your Space: You may come to all five workshops or just one or two. Whatever you decide, we simply ask that you register so we know how many people to expect each week. Please register by calling the Ohio State University Extension office in Warren County at 513-695-1311 or emailing stanton.60@osu.edu. We just need your name, how many people you are registering, and what workshop(s) you will attend. Thank you in advance!

Earth 101
Thursday, February 1 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Do you want to make your habits more earth friendly? Then join us for the first program in the 2024 Living Green Series! Learn about upcoming changes and additions to our local Rumpke recycling program from Warren County Solid Waste Management District.  Then explore ways to make your yard not only a personal oasis, but a refuge for native wildlife and pollinators from Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD). Find out how you can transform your yard into a sustainable, ecologically friendly space that is not only beautiful, but also helps to reduce water pollution through best management practices for your lawn, including turf alternatives, permeable surfaces, landscaping techniques, and more!  
Presenters: Melissa Proffitt, Warren County SWCD, Education and Communications Specialist and 
and Suzanne Geisler, Warren County Solid Waste District, Educator

Helping Backyard Wildlife
Thursday, February 8 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Whether you have acres of land or a single potted plant on your patio, you can provide native wildlife with crucial habitat. Learn about the local mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects that may visit your yard, and how you can utilize easy eco-friendly practices to help them. We will also address humane “evict and exclude” options for cases when animals get into spaces where they don’t belong, and what to do if you find injured or orphaned wildlife. While wildlife patients cannot join us at this program, we will have plenty of cute pictures plus our taxidermy collection and live reptile ambassadors for you to meet. 
Presenter: Shannon Pennington, Warren County Park District Naturalist and Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator

The Importance of Trees
Thursday, February 15 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Trees do so much more than produce oxygen! Learn how trees in the urban forest enhance the lives of those living in a community, how different species provide benefits to wildlife and insects, and how to select the best tree for each site. 
Presenter: Casey Burdick, City of Lebanon Recreation and Natural Resources Coordinator

 A Disappearing Habitat Vital to Life on Earth
Thursday, February 22 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Join Erin and discover the importance of dark nights and better understand how light pollution affects all living things on Earth. You will learn simple and sustainable solutions to improve the health of humans and our environment.

Presenter: Erin Shaw, Caesar Creek State Park Naturalist

Going Green: Sustainability Inside the Home
Thursday, February 29 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

More of us are realizing the importance of our choices regarding the environment. To be better stewards of our planet, there are actions and decisions that we can make to limit our negative impact on the Earth. In this workshop, we will explore ways to limit our impact on the planet by “going green.” We will explore different rooms in the home and share sustainable products and practices you can incorporate. The first 20 participants will recieve a free sustainability starter kit that includes a Swedish dishcloth, a glass straw, and a bamboo soap holder to take home with you (thanks to funding from the Warren County Solid Waste Management District). 
Presenter: Laura Stanton, OSU Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences

More About Our Presenters:

Casey Burdick, City of Lebanon, Recreation and Natural Resources Coordinator
Casey has a degree from Ohio State University in Forestry. She worked for the ODNR Division of Forestry for 13 years as a Service Forester before becoming the Recreation and Natural Resources Coordinator for the City of Lebanon in 2018. Casey currently oversees Lebanon’s park programming, volunteers, urban forestry program, stormwater, and manages a variety of park projects.

Suzanne Geisler, Warren County Solid Waste District, Educator
Suzanne is an OCVN (Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist), and an educator for Warren County Solid Waste Management District and Water Department. She loves the outdoors, and hiking with her dogs is her favorite thing! She is also a beekeeper and loves bees and other pollinators. Suzanne maintains a vermicompost bin and is excited to help spread environmental education in Warren County.

Shannon Pennington, Warren County Park District Naturalist and Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator
Shannon (she/her) is a graduate of Miami University and is a lifelong nature- and animal-lover who enjoys sharing her wonder and enthusiasm for the natural world with the general public. She is a certified Project Learning Tree and Project Wild instructor and is the co-founder of Tiny Wonders Wildlife Rescue. She was recently awarded the "Educator of the Year" honor by Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District for her efforts to further environmental education in the community. Her passions include working with animals, gardening, and encouraging people to get outside.

Melissa Proffitt, M.A., Warren County SWCD, Education & Communications Specialist
Melissa earned her BA in Zoology and MA in Biology from Miami University, with a focus on Conservation Education. Her master's thesis incorporated entertainment and theatrical elements into education programming to increase engagement and retention of information. She previously was a wildlife educator for a local museum and presented programs for classrooms and family groups. Melissa is passionate about working with all age groups and conducts classroom programs, community workshops, scout programs, STEM projects and initiatives, and more! As a workshop facilitator for Ohio Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, Growing Up WILD, Curious KIDSS, and Project Learning Tree, Melissa also collaborates with and provides professional development to other local educators around Warren County.

Erin Shaw, Caesar Creek State Park, Naturalist

Erin serves as the Park Naturalist at Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, OH, where she has filled that role for over 15 years. She has also worked at Cowan Lake State Park and Little Miami State Park. Before that, Erin was a school teacher. Erin is passionate about nature, the outdoors, astronomy, and the dark sky.

Laura Stanton, M.A., M.S., Ohio State Extension, Warren County, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator
Laura (she/her) has worked as a professional family life educator for over 25 years. Her focus is on all aspects of human development and family life, but she is particularly passionate about environmental wellness. She writes and teaches about sustainability issues and encourages individuals and families to get outside as much as possible. Laura lives in Lebanon with her family and in her free time, she can be found alone in the woods, usually watching and photographing birds or other things that catch her eye.


This series is sponsored by the Warren County Conservation Collaborative. The Collaborative is made up of employees from the Warren County Park District, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio State University (OSU) Extension in Warren County, City of Lebanon Parks and Recreation, Caesar Creek State Park Nature Center, and the Warren County Solid Waste Management District.